Tag Archives: kitchen trouble

How much food do YOU waste?

I’m always trying to find statistics to help me prove my theory that we NEED MORE HELP in the kitchen – so that I don’t feel like I’m alone, you know? Well, this is a big one.

According to the Department of Agriculture, we (Americans) waste 27% of our food! This means we throw it out, let it go bad or just don’t know what to do with it?

Aside from a big stat, this study links wasted food with wasted energy…something that all of us are thinking about these days.

Check out the article here!

Also, Jonathan Bloom has a great blog on how to waste less food! www.wastedfood.com

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under cooking 101, green kitchen, green living, newlywed, starting to cook, tips for new cooks

The Oprah Dream: What happened?

As most of you know, I auditioned for Oprah’s contest to have my “OWN” show on her new network, OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network). It happened on a Friday afternoon in May, when Oprah talked through the TV to ME and said, “Do you think you have what it takes to have your own show? Do people tell you should be on TV?” “Yes, and yes, totally” I said back to her! So, my hubby and I scrambled and filmed a short audition before time slipped away.

Quick segue: When we produced, Cooking for the Clueless, our DVD to help people who are super frustrated in the kitchen, our intention was to sell it in the big stores – you know, Crate & Barrel and Bed Bath & Beyond for all the newlywed shoppers that realize they can’t cook after “I do” and Target for all the 30-something smart shoppers in our “target audience.” What really happened was that C&B and BBB & Tar-jay said, “great concept, but you’re a nobody kid – we can’t carry your DVD!” Ok, so they didn’t use those exact words, but they said if I had a show, it’d be a different story. Thank God for Amazon. They love us. Anyway – just a little reality background for our die-hard fans.

The more I promoted the DVD, the more TV (morning shows) I did and got more comfortable in front of the camera and people would say, “What a great concept for a show!” I always felt it was but started to believe that other people agreed. Oh and the best confidence booster happened at the Tasty Awards – do you remember when we won the Tasty Award for best food DVD? (see acceptance speech here :0). After the show, a big-time producer from TLC (produces Cake Boss) came up to me and said, “call me, I like your energy.” That was awesome – but so far nada. And then there came Oprah, the grande mama of all hopes for almost every woman in America. My audition got 18,364 votes! Out of 465 online cooking entries, I finished in the top 25 or 30, I think. Not bad huh?

Finish the Oprah Story already…

Ok, so the voting closed about 10 days ago and in a delusional state, I thought I may have a chance for a call back, then I read that out of 10,000 people, only 35 were getting called for a second round of personal interviews. That deflated any hopes, especially since the only person calling me was my grandma. ” Oprah didn’t call?” she asked in Spanish. As if it were a given. You gotta love your grandmas!

Thanks to EVERYONE who voted for me on Oprah! It was truly appreciated and I love all of your support! Stay tuned for more local stories on the challenges and perks of moving from clueless to cooking in the kitchen. :0)

3 Comments

Filed under cooking 101, Cooking for dummies, food, frustrated, newlywed, starting to cook, tips for new cooks

Springtime wishes in the kitchen

Many people have been asking me if I’m still “clueless” in the kitchen. That’s a loaded question! Well, the answer is no, not really or not as much. However, I will say that I have a long way to go until I feel like I can effortlessly rule the kitchen – which is my wish in the kitchen. Is it too romantic to wish a country home upon myself, with a big kitchen filled with the warmth of many home-cooked meals? When you’re coming from a clueless state of mind, learning how to cook takes time, effort and a little bit of sweat – just like getting into shape! Here are a few of the favorite things I’ve learned so far:

  1. Owning the supermarket! I started taking the advice of experts and shopping 2-3 times, buying fresher and menu planning. It’s been a few months now and we’re cooking more and spending way less. Check out our expert article on shopping for more help.
  2. Stocking up: Learning how to stock your pantry with necessities is as important as having the right tools in the kitchen. My favorite tools have become 1)timer, 2)meat thermometer 3) sharp chef’s and paring knives 4)timer and 5)hand blender/mixer
  3. My Fab Five Recipes: Instead of feeling overwhelmed by “hundreds of easy recipes,” I’ve picked a few favorites that keep us happy and cooking. Pan-seared Sea Scallops, Spaghetti al Pomodoro, Oven-Roasted Potatoes, Baked (but tastes as good as fried) Chicken Drumsticks, Stuffed Butternut-Squash, and Fresh Sausage, Root Vegetable & Bean Stew. Some of these recipes are favorites from the DVD and the others I’ve adapted from old recipes or my imagination. Now that I have some confidence, it’s becoming fun to play in the kitchen.

I hope you’re cooking more, loving life and dreaming up your own wishes in the kitchen!

Leave a comment

Filed under cooking 101, Cooking for dummies, newlywed, recipes for beginners, starting to cook, tips for new cooks

Dare to cook this V-Day?

It usually happens around the 3rd date or so – if things are going well! That was my pattern – yes, offering to cook a meal. It never phazed me that I didn’t really know how to cook. You would think that might be an obstacle, right? Well, I would usually search for a good recipe on foodnetwork.com (listed under EASY) and then I’d go to the little gourmet shop down the street – where ingredients would cost me a fortune. With wine, cheese and dessert store-bought, I’d be safe in that arena, so if the meal itself wasn’t stellar, I’d at least get mega points for ambiance and presentation :0).

In our newest expert article, read about one of my 3rd date cooking disasters and get great advice on how to plan for a seductive meal as Terry Dagrosa, founder and publisher of SeductionMeals.com gives us her best tips for Valentine’s Day and beyond.

Click here to view Terry’s seductive tips!

P.S.

Earlier this week, I was on WINK TV making “Cupid’s Clueless Chocolate” – a delicious, quick and gourmet-tasting recipe for homemade chocolate treats that I learned from Chef Michael Munoz over the holidays. Chef Michael is Executive Chef at the City Club in San Francisco and founder of Fit to Be Tied – Gourmet Food and Fitness for Brides and Grooms. His recipes were awesome! If you’re a bride and groom looking to shape up before the big day (together), definitely contact him for help!

P.S.S.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Behind the Scenes on Live TV

Jenn Flaa, Vettana To Go

Jenn Flaa of Vettana To Go interviewed me to get the scoop on what it’s like behind the scenes at View From the Bay. She had some great questions. I hope they are helpful or at least interesting! The interview is in two parts. But before you go to the video, here are my most important tips:

  • Practice, Practice, Practice
  • Memorize 2-3 talking points or tips you want to communicate
  • Take a deep breath and focus on the interviewer (not the audience or cameras)
  • Try being a member of the studio audience before you are on the show so you know what to expect.

Part 2 questions: Click here for video (P.S. I like Part 2 better, thus the reverse order :0)

1.  Did you provide them with sample questions ahead of time?
2.  Did you do your own makeup or did they have a makeup crew there?
3.  Did you bring a couple different outfits along?
4.  Did they ask you any questions that you weren’t prepared for?
5.  Give us the scoop on the Tasty Award you won for the DVD “Cooking For The Clueless”

Part 1 questions: Click here for video

1.  Describe your day on View From The Bay
2.  Did they give you any tips about being on camera?
3.  Did you get to meet the hosts before you went on the air?

Become a Facebook Fan of Vettana To Go for great Media & PR tips by clicking here. Thanks again Jenn for a great interview!

To watch the actual live cooking segment (Pan-seared Salmon in a Tomato-herb cream reduction), click here now!

Leave a comment

Filed under cooking 101, Cooking for dummies, recipes for beginners, starting to cook, tips for new cooks

Tasty Awards Here We Come!

What does Cooking for the Clueless have in common with Anthony Bourdain, Paula Dean, Tyra Banks, Timm Gunn and other food and fashion demi-gods? We were just named official finalists for “Best DVD Series” for the upcoming Tasty Awards, being held in San Francisco at the Kabuki Sundance Theater on January 14, 2010!  AHHHH! That was my first reaction! My 3 month-old son just stared at me. We’re so excited.

Help us win Viewer’s Choice, click to VOTE NOW!! We are listed under question #10.

This is so cool!

Leave a comment

Filed under recipes for beginners, starting to cook, tips for new cooks

No-Fret Thanksgiving Tips

Are you taking on the Turkey yourself and need a few more tips to help you get through the weekend?

  1. Take a deep breath, start cooking on Wednesday and find some helpers! Remember, you can reduce an enormous amount of stress by starting things early. Almost everything can be made or prepped the day before.
  2. Set your timer & find your thermometer! You should calculate on cooking your turkey according to its weight. Allow 20 minutes per pound for 8-12 pound birds, 15 minutes per pound for 12-16 pounders. Let your turkey “sit” and rest for 10-15 minutes before carving it once it hits an internal temp of 155 degrees. Perfect internal temperature should be at 160-165 degrees. Then, your ready to eat. Get to 180 degrees and you’re overcooked!
  3. Smaller birds cook better: “They” say you should calculate 1.5 lbs of turkey per guest. That means 6-guests=9lb turkey. Since smaller birds tend to cook better, go with 2 smaller birds (12-lb max) as your guest list increases.

Going somewhere “else” for dinner?

  1. Offer to bring a side dish or appetizer. I’m making creamy mashed potatoes AND prosciutto pear bites!
  2. Grab some fresh bread from the local bakery. Pair with real artisan butter and you’ll be loved.
  3. Flowers and vino. You can’t go wrong with wine. For a sweet touch, pair with fresh flowers for the host.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized